Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kickin' @$$ and takin' their stuff: Introducing a new generation to 2e AD&D

It is memorial day weekend and I can think of no better way to spend it than going to the drive-in (Thor was awesome!!), grilling out and playing a kick ass game of D&D.

Saturday I ran my daughter and my niece (both of which are teenagers), and my former brother-in-law through a six hour 2nd edition AD&D game. It was one of the best games I have had the opportunity to participate in for quite some time and all of the players did a great job.

I am especially proud because it was my daughter's first time with 2e (4e Essentials is all she really knows) and my nieces first time playing an RPG. I also think I did some of the best DMing I've done in years. It has been a long time since a six hour game went by and everyone was still eager to play. Even though I could have gone another 3-4 hours I had to stop the game because it was getting a little late. So I am declaring this session a huge success.

After not playing 2e for nearly a decade I can't believe how easily I feel back into the old rules. Sure there was the occasional 3e/Pathfinder or 4e rule that slipped in by accident, but for the most part we had to make just a  few clarifications on things during breaks. The girls had no problem with THAC0, my brother in law and I did a fairly good job of remembering most of the rules and fell right into how we gamed years ago.

My daughter broke from her usual routine of playing a fighter to play a two-weapon ranger and my niece played the fighter. My brother-in-law played I psionicist Minotaur (house-rules) to add a little bit of extra muscle to the party of new(er) players.

I ran them through an adventure that mixed a little bit of the Abyssal Plague story that is currently running through the core D&D novels (they aren't great, but they are fun) with a little bit of your normal meat grinder dungeon crawl. I even threw in a dungeon level that was nothing but puzzles and riddles to mix it up.

The girls seemed to have a good time and even reminded me of myself and the gang I played with when I was around their age and just learning the game. For them it was more about getting lost in the imaginary world and having a good time than it was about rules and minutia. I can't speak for my brother-in-law but Saturday's game felt more "old school" than any game I've played in a long time and it had nothing to do with the edition or system. I actually can't wait to play again and that, to me at least, is what gaming is all about.

We plan to finish this adventure in a few weeks and then we are going to decide if we will stick with 2e or move on to 3e/Pathfiner. Honestly I'm perfectly ok with either system as they are my two favorites. I've talked my daughter into giving The Mutant Epoch, Call of Cthulhu and maybe even a supers game a try. So I'll end up running a solo game for her with those systems/genre. Who knows, if she does well I may even try running a Starblazer Adv. or Hollow Earth Expedition game for her.

However, I can't decide between DC Adv./M&M, Silver Age Sentinels, V&V,  or Icons for running a supers game. Personally I think Silver Age Sentinels (d20 version is ok, but I think the tri-stat version is better) is a bit under rated, and I'm really wanting to run it, but I'm leaning heavily towards Icons because of simplicity or DC Adv. due to familiarity.